This time last year, 2011, I loaned about fifteen thousand pesos from the university's multi-purpose cooperative. This amount, combined with half of my thirteenth month pay, I used to purchase an Asus 1015PEM. It was so beautiful. I see much beauty in it that I find paying for the loan a no-sweat compared to its great worth. After a year of usage, I still find it so lovable and have no plan to replace it in the next couple of years perhaps. It has served me so well in almost everything but most especially in my ministry. It is my organist, organizer, and sermon archiver. If only it has a soul, it will definitely hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

However, before early afternoon today, my ministry-partner is nowhere to be found on my desk. Initially, I thought I was a subject of a practical joke. But I was not met by a practical joker but by the head of security. It was indeed stolen. I couldn't explain what I felt. I was perspiring. My heart pumped so fast and I was nauseating. But I remember that my life and my death are for the sole purpose of exalting CHRIST (Phil. 1:20).

So, I ask, "How do you magnify GOD amidst theft?" And I think that the best way to do so is to make plain to others that GOD stays for who He is even amidst "bad" unwanted events in my life. When my netbook was taken from me...

GOD is still THE King
The Bible is filled with references that pertain to the sovereignty of GOD. Jeremiah 32:17 for instance says "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm." GOD is King. Nothing happens outside of His will and purpose. It is extremely comforting to remember that the sole and supreme Ruler is infinitely wise, massively powerful, and loving to the utmost. That means that the absence of my netbook now is an outcome of GOD's wise, powerful, loving, and sovereign rule. I was surprised when it was gone but GOD already knew it would be gone even before the foundation of the world... yet HE allowed it to be gone. It may perhaps not be my business now to know why. Where was GOD when my netbook was taken? He was there in that same place when I purchased my Asus, sitting on His throne and sovereignly ruling over the entire universe, over things visible and invisible.

GOD is still THE Writer
Romans 8:28 is a Christian darling -- "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." It is not promised that all things ARE GOOD. Things may be bad. But all things will work together for good. I don't know how but the thieving of my property will work with other events of my life for my good. If we go on further with the verse at hand, to verses 29 to 30, all these things that are happening are woven together by the Almighty to conclude our glorification. It seems, therefore, to mean that the very netbook that I love is hindering me from the surety of my glory. GOD in His GODness knows. I thank GOD that even with all the billions and billions and billions of concerns that He has, He still managed to mind me and my netbook... that He writes so meticulously for my own good.

GOD is still THE Teacher
What I love when GOD states His intention to teach us is the assurance of learning. Let us consider John 14:26 for example, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. " or Ezekiel 11:19, "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." He says, "I will teach... I will remind... I will give..." and not "I will try to teach... I will try to remind... I will try to give..." When GOD really wants to teach us, He will never fail in doing so. We will surely learn. And GOD, in His creativity, will certainly utilize different events in our life just to teach us. And I must say, I learn today.

GOD is still THE Judge
Justice presupposes that all sins and transgressions should be accounted for. "For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Eccles. 12:14)." And since all have sinned (Rom.3:23), all will face judgment for doing evil and being evil. If the one who have taken my netbook is an unbeliever [which is most probably], he will pay for eternity for this transgression that he has committed (Matt. 10:28). But when the grace of GOD finds its way to the heart of the thief, his sins in general and this sin of stealing in particular would be included in the penalty that Christ has paid (2 Cor. 5:21). In short, I did not really lose anything because GOD will bring justice. He is still the righteous Judge.

GOD is still THE Grace-Giver
I deserve nothing but the fiery wrath of GOD. He wants me to be perfect as He is (Matt. 5:48). But I have a problem; GOD is infinitely holy and infinitely perfect. I will never ever meet His demands. So, even the slightest of my disobediences reserves for me a space in hell. That is where I truly and rightfully belong. But because of Christ paying the penalty due to me, I will not face such terror... a very abundant mercy. And not only that, He has given me life -- I owe to His grace. I have a beautiful family -- I owe to His grace. I have a lot of things that I enjoy now that I don't really deserve -- I owe to His grace. So when my netbook was gone, I am still standing on a space that is a product of GOD's mercy and grace... so distant from the hell that I deserve.

GOD is still THE Treasure
GOD is enough. He is more than enough. When my heart despairs for my lost netbook, it reveals that GOD is not enough for me but actually needs some other accessories. Psalm 73:25 is my youth fellowship's favorite, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you." I or we strive to have a heart like the Apostle Paul to consider everything, that is all things, as loss compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:8). Whether it be my netbook, my cellphone, my other toys, my foods, my clothes, my books [ouch], my profession, my friends, my family, my future, my Anna, or everything, may I be able to display that I value all of these as nothings when compared to the surpassing value of knowing CHRIST.

"I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity." ~ John Wesley

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